€1 MILLON IRISH & INTERNATIONAL ART TO BE AUCTIONED ON 27 SEPTEMBER
Whyte’s autumn auction of Irish & International art promises to deliver another exciting opportunity for collectors to acquire rare artworks of outstanding quality and enduring value. On Monday 27 September 2021 158 lots of Irish & International art will be offered for auction.
This will be a “virtual auction” with bidder participation by internet, telephone, email or post. The entire sale will be broadcast from our saleroom live around the world with real-time bidding conducted by our licensed auctioneers, Ian and Peter Whyte. We regret that attendance at the auction is not permitted. However we will do everything possible to assist bidders to participate as fully as possible in this exciting event. Viewing takes place at Whyte’s Galleries from Wednesday to Friday 22-24 September, 10am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 25 & 26 September, 1pm to 5pm and Monday 27 September – day of sale - 10am to 4pm. Additional services include extra photographs of each work, including domestic settings, Art Realizer free App to project pictures to scale on your walls, frame sizes and condition reports for every lot published on our website, and, most importantly, a Certificate of Authenticity and lifetime guarantee for every lot in the sale.
The top lot by value is a charming oil titled A Village in Connemara, c. 1920 by Paul Henry (lot 27, estimate €60,000-€80,000). With auction records for the artist broken twice in the past year Paul Henry works are as popular as ever and this typical example is sure to attract competitive bidding. The work was purchased by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel Frank Stanton who was in Ireland after World War I, circa 1919- 1920. Henry invited Colonel Stanton to his studio where he purchased six paintings, which he brought back to Canada with his fiancée – Mary Preston of Gormanston, Co. Meath. The artist’s studio at the time was 13a Merrion Row (as per label on reverse). Henry and his first wife, Grace, had just moved to the studio and home on Merrion Row, Dublin in 1919. Of the space Henry wrote, 'It was large, with a top light, and, above all else, had character... What attracted me most about...[it] was the fact that you entered by a green door in a high wall, and found yourself in a cobbled courtyard from which an outside stairway led up to a balcony and the door of the studio... and a very old clematis, in full bloom, covered the whole front. Birds sang in its branches, and I knew at once that I could work and be happy there. In other ways it reminded me of my old Paris studio.'
Dan O'Neill was born in Belfast in 1920, where he worked as an electrician. He was largely self-taught as an artist, although he did attend some life classes at the Belfast College of Art. O'Neill began painting part-time in 1939 and by the mid-1940s he was painting full-time, exhibiting with Waddington Galleries. ‘Harvesters Picnic’ (lot 40, €30,000-€40,000) was purchased through Waddington’s in Montreal and is one of a small number of paintings on the theme of harvest in O'Neill's work. Professor Liam Kelly notes in the catalogue ‘There is something of the modernist tradition of the dignity of labour about the painting. However O'Neill's cornstalks, in taking on more surrealist and wayward forms, conspire with the light, (always a protagonist in his work), to set up a more nocturnal ominous dreamtime.’ Another fine example from the artist titled Culdaff, County Donegal (lot 42, €15,000-€20,000) is also on offer.
Kelly writes ‘lots 40 and 42 - in O'Neill's work we find the imaginative, often haunting interaction between figure and environment; mood and circumstance. These two works are fine examples of O'Neill at his best.’
Though there are no Jack Yeats oil paintings on offer, the Yeats family is well represented in the sale. In 1908, Elizabeth and Lily Yeats established Cuala Industries with the stated desire to 'make beautiful things' using honest and native materials in 'the spirit and tradition of the country'. A Broadside was published in a folio format, on special paper made at the Saggart Mills in Dublin, with typeface selected by Lily. Jack illustrated the complete first series (84 issues) totalling 252 drawings and had exclusive editorial control for the first series with his brother, William assuming the role for the subsequent second and third. Lot 13 (estimate €6,000-€8,000) is a complete collection of the first series in excellent condition. Lily Yeats’ main craft was embroidery and was a regular prize winner at the Tailteann and Arts and Crafts Society exhibitions in Dublin. Trees at Night, c. 1928 (lot 11, €8,000-€12,000) is a translucent moonlit woodland scene foregrounded by a wild meadow on her trademark blue poplin background and is typical of her output and larger than most of her known pieces. The frame by James Hicks (1866-1936), the most accomplished Irish cabinetmaker of his time adds to this exceptionally attractive piece. Elizabeth Yeats is also represented with two West of Ireland watercolours (lots 9 & 10, €1,000-€1,500 each).
Ballinkinlar Internment Camp, 1921 (lot 21, €5,000-€7,000) by Maurice MacGonigal is a work of great historical interest. From the detailed catalogue note Ciarán Macgonigal, the artist’s son, writes ‘MacGonigal was enrolled by Bulmer Hobson in 'Fianna Éireann' which was the Scouting arm of Sinn Féin. In 1916 he moved on to membership of Sinn Féin proper. Maurice MacGonigal became the Company Intelligence Officer in 1920. Following Bloody Sunday and its aftermath MacGonigal was arrested on 8 December 1920. He was interned initially in Kilmainham Gaol, but for greater security was moved to the newly opened internment camp at Ballykinlar in Co. Down. Ballykinlar was the summer HQ for the British Army in Ulster and housed some 200 internees. It held a great number of men who were to be the nexus of the early Irish Governments. The artist shared his hut space with a number of future politicians including future Taoiseach Seán Lemass. Despite its age this work remains a lively colourful and evocative sense of a summer's day. Its mood is optimistic, on a late June day or even early July of 1921, as the Truce negotiations with the British Government were soon to be concluded (11 July 1921) with the release of the internees expected thereafter.’
A quintessentially Irish artist, from early on Patrick Collins painting seemed to evoke an Ireland both mythical and real, romanticised but rigorously unsentimental. Isolated subjects - from human figures to dwellings, fields to birds - emerge as if from a primordial mist, stubbornly asserting themselves. Apples, 1961 (lot 43, €10,000-€15,000) is an exceptional still life audaciously simple in its format, the stark, unadorned study is atmospherically rich in a way that is characteristic of Collins at his best. The work was originally purchased by Sir Basil Goulding at Collins’ Ritchie Hendriks Gallery show in 1961.
Once again Whyte’s has an offering of the popular series of giclée prints from legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Mexico and Three Chairs (lots 101 & 102, €1,500-€2,000 each) come from the Drawn Blank series produced between 1989 and 1992 while touring America, Europe, and Asia, while Vine Street, West L. A. and Florida County (lots 103 & 104, €1,500-€2,000 each) come from the Beaten Path series, a ‘celebration of his own well-travelled path through a country which continues to enthral, charm and captivate.’
David Bowie is another music idol who had a passion for painting and lot 106 Head (€5,000-€7,000) is sure to attract interest from afar. Created in Preproduction Room 1 at The Factory, Ringsend, Dublin, 1997, where Bowie was rehearsing for the Earthling Tour, it was acquired by the present owner from a fellow employee of the Factory. David Bowie painted several pictures while waiting during breaks at the rehearsals, he destroyed most of them. There are also offerings of Pablo Picasso previously from the Marina Picasso collection, including the ceramic Petit Visage Barbu (lot 112, €4,000-€6,000).
William Henry Bartlett was born in England and studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris under Gérôme, Bouguereau and Fleury. He was elected RBA in 1879, around which time he also visited Ireland for the first time. Works exhibited in the early 1880s include Going to Market at Roundstone from Deer Island, West Coast of Ireland, An Evicted Tenant, Connemara and Waiting for the Turf Boats, Roundstone. He returned to Ireland frequently showing three works at the RHA (in 1897 and 1905) and in 1911 was recorded with an address in Donegal. A Games of Dominoes, Brittany, 1893 (lot 121, €20,000-€30,000) is a wonderful example from the artist at the height of his powers.
Watch out for… wonderful paintings by John Shinnors, Donald Teskey, Tony O’Malley, Cecil Maguire and Arthur Maderson all of whom have enjoyed particular success at auction recently. A delightful collection of Percy French’s are on offer as well as a selection of Louis le Brocquy lithographs. There is an eclectic offering of works by Markey Robinson, examples by Letitia Hamilton, Grace Henry, Kenneth Webb, Flora Mitchell, Charles Lamb, Seán Keating, Harry Kernoff, William Scott, Seán Scully, Nick Miller, Hughie O’Donoghue, James Brohan, Mark O’Neill and many more.